Mittenwald Small Viola, circa 1850


Mittenwald Viola, circa 1850An unusually attractive Mittenwald viola in near perfect condition. One piece front and back, no cracks or damages, the original varnish very well preserved though with heavy craquelure to the scroll. The tone is big, bright and smooth with great response – recently set up to a high standard by Stringers of London.

Viola sizes ebb and flow over the centuries, but the late 18th and early 19th centuries were dominated by smaller instruments, and the 38cm size was the smaller of two standard sizes. This is a typical example – a better quality Mittenwald trade instrument showing all the classic reatures of Mittenwald construction, but with some extra artistry in the corners and the scroll. It’s beautifully preserved with no cracks or damages , and with a lovely varnish showing typical craquelure to the scroll and subtly around the bridge.

Probably the main thing which stands about about Mittenwald instruments is the quality of the wood. One-piece fronts are the norm rather than the exception. Even the unlabelled “Verleger” instruments are the work of accomplished professionals as opposed to the “farmer with nothing to do on a dark night” workmanship of Saxon trade instruments. Soundwise they tend also to be a very safe bet, and this particular instrument is a good example. Big in volume, great response, a well-balanced sound from bottom to top, and with a lovely sustain. This is not a dark instruments, but given the limitations of its size it’s very successful.

Length of back 38.1cm

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Mittenwald Viola, circa 1850 Mittenwald Viola, circa 1850 Mittenwald Viola, circa 1850 Mittenwald Viola, circa 1850

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Ref: 5297

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